For the last thirteen years, this site has told you what I think about Formula One liveries.
Now, it’s finally time to flip it.
In The Great Liveries Poll, I’m asking you, the reading audience (or, the F1 fan who’s never been on the site before but stumbled across here after finding out about it on social media) to tell me what your favourite F1 liveries of all time are. Everyone can choose ten liveries, to be ranked in order, which will then be awarded points based on the current F1 system – that is, 25 for first place, then 18, and so on down to a point for tenth place.
The poll will be open between Friday 1st and Sunday 31st May – after which, I’ll tally up the scores, do a bit of work to eliminate duplicates (more on that below), and finally present the winners here on the site (and probably as a YouTube video as well). This will hopefully then stand as the ultimate crowdsourced list of Greatest Ever F1 Liveries!
If you want to get straight on with voting, you can do so here – but otherwise, read on for a little more information about how it’ll all work and what the criteria for inclusion are.
The criteria for inclusion is that we’re only looking at liveries since the sponsorship era began. That’s the same criterion we use for our Teams database and the year-by-year Best Liveries Ever. The introduction of Lotus’ Gold Leaf livery seems as good a place as any to start to draw a line from which liveries began to become distinct. Every team that’s already in our Teams database is included in the poll – this includes some teams who never competed in a full season (in some cases only one race!) although going back to the 1970s there are some slightly hazier entries that we’ve decided to leave out. But the 1997 MasterCard Lola is in there, among others.
Obviously there are some liveries that were fundamentally the same over multiple years. Rather than try to do the work of merging those into one entry for every single team/year featured here, we’re going to wait and see what gets votes – and then we’ll go through each one making a judgement on whether they stand alone or should be merged. So it’s very likely that the 1998 and 1999 McLarens would be considered as one entry, or the 1995 and 1996 Williams. At the same time, if judged to be different enough, we may see more than one iteration of certain long-running designs like the JPS Lotus or Marlboro McLaren. Like I say, this’ll be judged on its merits once the votes have come in and we see where it needs to actually be decided upon!
When you go to the form, you’ll find ten sets of dropdown lists – in each case, you’ll be able first to pick a team name, and then you’ll be given a list of each distinct “main” livery that we’ve identified for that team.
Most teams only have one major livery for a season – we’re not counting minor changes to colour schemes or sponsors here and there – but in some cases, where a major change was more obviously made, we’ve allowed multiple picks. These are indicated by “A”, “B” or “C” after a year. In each case, we’ve given a description of either the colours or the main sponsor so you can hopefully differentiate. If you’re wanting to vote for a particular livery and you’re not sure which one it is, feel free to give us a shout on Twitter and we’ll help! The same goes for if you identify a team/year where there is a clear change and we haven’t marked it – let us know!
You can’t vote for the exact same livery twice (the form will stop you picking exactly the same team and year in two places!); however, there would be nothing to stop you picking – for example – the 2017 and 2018 Toro Rosso in different spots, despite their being basically identical. All that we ask is that in the interests of fair play, you only choose a particular livery once even if you could theoretically pick it from multiple years.
You need to give us your email address when you vote, and a record of this will be kept securely in our database so that we can ensure each email only votes once. However no other personal information (aside from your vote picks) will be associated with this email, your address will not be made public or in any way used to communicate with you, and all records will be deleted once the poll is complete and votes have been counted. If you would like your details to be deleted prior to the end of the poll, please contact us.
Obviously we can’t tell you what to vote for – but we can help give you some ideas and inspiration, as well as helping you to identify your favourite.
Back in 2008 we ran down our favourite 25 liveries of all time. Obviously this doesn’t include anything that’s hit the grid since then, but nevertheless might jog your memory.
Our Best Liveries Ever page picks a single livery for every single season since 1968. Again, this isn’t exhaustive – not least because some years had several of the best liveries ever – but again, it’ll give you a good overview.
And finally, while not 100% complete, this excellent site provides a very good overview with visuals of almost every livery that almost every team has had. Hopefully that will help you if you’re not sure what year a particular design falls under, or if you just want to browse for some inspiration!